For the past 75 years, the month of May has been filled with recognition, awareness events, and a big general thank you to those who work as Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP’s) and Audiologists. Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) is dedicated to the professionals whose career is spent preventing, identifying, and treating communication impairments. And if you are one of the more than 140,000 SLP’s or 14,000 Audiologists, data shows that you are extremely happy with your career choice. According to the 2015 Jobs Rated Almanac, Audiologists ranked second in job satisfaction, while SLP’s came in at number eleven. And why wouldn’t you?
After earning your Master’s Degree, passing your National Boards, and completing your clinical internship, you are out in the world helping the more than 45 million people in the United States who suffer from a speech, voice, language or hearing impairment. Audiologists and SLP’s admit to working in a very low-stress environment and have a variety of settings to practice their craft, including schools, hospitals, private practices, clinics, home settings, etc. Others, decide to work in different settings while exploring the country through travel opportunities. Regardless of the setting or location, SLP’s and Audiologists are in great demand. It is estimated that almost 28 million people suffer from a treatable hearing loss and because you are the “Face of Caring,” you may be the healthcare professional who helps a young girl hear Adele's “Hello,” for the very first time.
During May, BHSM activities will be promoting this year’s theme “Communication Takes Care.” Having the spotlight on your chosen profession makes now a perfect time to consider taking the next step in your evolution as a Hearing and Speech Specialist. As an ASHA certified Audiologist (CCC-A) or SLP (CCC-SLP), did you know that there are several specialty areas of practice that you can pursue? Since you are already experiencing job satisfaction, why not enhance it further by earning recognition as a “Board Certified Specialist”. Doing so not only validates your expertise, it leads to increased referrals, can open up avenues for career advancement, and much more.
Currently, there are several approved specialties, governed by Certification Boards that determine the educational and clinical requirements necessary for qualification:
- Child Language and language disorders
- Fluency and Fluency Disorders
- Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders
- Intraoperative monitoring
Whether or not you choose to further your education through a specialty certification, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that occupations related to Speech and Hearing will be experiencing growth rates far beyond other occupations. There are many factors contributing to this anticipated growth, not the least of which is that communication disorders are among the most common disabilities in the United States. Fortunately, through the efforts of skilled hearing and speech professionals, children are being taught to say their first words or use a communication device to express their needs. Adults are learning to overcome severe stuttering conditions and restore their self-confidence, or as parents are learning to communicate with their non-verbal child. It’s really no surprise that Audiologists and SLP’s are so satisfied in their careers. They are using their skills, determination, creativity, and caring to impact the lives and futures of so many. So not only during the month of May but year-round, we should all make it a point to appreciate and thank those that help us all to communicate.
Please take a moment and tell us your plans for BHSM 2016. Are you planning to attend or organize any awareness events? Are you considering a specialty area of practice or pursuing any other continuing education? Do you have a favorite success story that you would like to share? Don’t be shy, join the conversation in the comment section below, or drop us a line on our Facebook page.